Commonwealth Heads of Government Endorse CTO’s Efforts for Broadband Inclusion

Commonwealth Heads of Government Endorse CTO’s Efforts for Broadband Inclusion


LONDON, 19 NOVEMBER 2013 – Commonwealth Heads of Government have endorsed efforts by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) and its partners to promote accessible and affordable access to broadband for all. The endorsement was one key outcome of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held on 15 - 17 November 2013 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

In a Communique issued at the end of the Sri Lanka Meeting, the Commonwealth Heads of Government“welcomed the initiative of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to work together in a multi-stakeholder partnership to support the development of National Broadband Policies and Strategies in those Commonwealth countries where they are yet to be developed.  They noted that this would help bridge the broadband divide and ensure accessible and affordable access to broadband, as the foundation for a contemporary digital economy, thereby enabling all Commonwealth citizens to benefit from the opportunities that broadband access affords for economic growth and human wellbeing in the interconnected global economy”.

Promoting broadband, especially mobile broadband, is a strategic priority for the CTO.  A passionate advocate of using ICTs for the social and economic empowerment of Commonwealth citizens, Professor Tim Unwin, Secretary-General of the CTO who attended the Sri Lanka event welcomed the explicit commitment by Commonwealth Heads of Government in support of the CTO’s initiatives to enable affordable broadband for all:

“It is very encouraging to see Commonwealth leaders recognising the value of our efforts. We will continue to support existing initiatives and develop new ones to ensure that inequalities in broadband access are removed.” 

The Sri Lanka Communiqué comes less than two months after the 2013 annual CTO Forum held in Abuja, Nigeria on 7 - 9 October 2013 which called for further development, adoption and implementation of policies and regulatory environments that encourage investments in affordable, safe and equitable Broadband. The Sri Lanka Communiqué also supported initiatives in areas such as cybersecurity and cybercrime where the CTO is very active. 

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